Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sorry No Post

Sorry about no posting this week. It has been crazy. Crazy in a busy and good way. We've been moving into another part of the building which means painting, moving stuff, setting up stuff, and stuff like that. Yesterday, I went with the youth to Carowinds. It was hot and humid. I am wiped out right now. Tomorrow is setting up projector stuff and message run through. Some small tidy up projects and then tomorrow night is rest. I will post pics and tell you more next week when I have rested more than 5 hours.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


  • Keels, Jon and Clay did a great job with worship in Anderson.
  • Derrick D. did the teaching duties in Anderson today.
  • Several first timers in Powdersville today.
  • Kevin Campbell spoke for me in Powdersville and did an awesome job.
  • Reo was incredible leading worship and will be helping us out more in the coming weeks as Evan heads out on tour.
  • Attendance was up despite a large number of our regular folks being out of town on vacations. In a new church start when 8-9 of your core families go on vacation it can be huge. So needless to say I was excited to see attendance up despite such a big group being gone this week.
  • Announcement video went over well. I've never heard people laugh so much over announcements.
  • I had a request from someone to sing some of my Randy Travis songs. I told the guy that if he came back to church I would sing.
  • Painting this week at the new auditorium. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday night. If you can paint, basically anytime on those days or nights is cool.
  • Got invited to go fishing this afternoon down in Antreville.
  • We won. Tripp and I outfished Stan and Scott. 53-49. Tripp caught 35 large mouth bass, I caught 18. Last time I caught 27.
  • Tripp got ready to push out one of the boats and there was a three foot long snake under the boat. I stood in the back of the truck while Tripp, Stan, and Scott tried to shoot it. I used the excuse that I was looking for a can of Off. Really I was just standing in the boat to not be bitten by a huge snake.
  • I learned my fishing style today. It is self proclaimed "Lazy Fishing". It worked. I just cast and let the fluke drop to the bottom and every now and again I reeled and shook the line. I had only caught three before discovering my method. I also learned how to tie the fisherman knot today.
  • I managed to hook my back with one of those three hook hooks. I told Trip to yank it out. He yanked it and it didn't come out. He grossed out. Scott pulled his boat over and took my razor blade knife and cut it out of my back. While he was cutting it out of my back, I got stung by a bee. Holder would have had to use his Epi Pen. It hurt but I didn't say any cuss words. I can't remember if I thought any or not. Don't worry, Scott was like a Boy Scout with his fancy pants first aid kit complete with antiseptic.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Today was our 15th year anniversary. I knew that today was a biggie and I knew I better plan something good. 5 years ago on our 10th anniversary I took Melissa on a 10 stop scavenger hunt where I got her gifts for each of the ten years we had been married. I then made an 11th stop where I gave her a new 1 carat diamond ring.

Today was 15 so I knew I needed to step up my game. So this morning we were off on a mystery trip. I happen to know one of the curators at the Biltmore House in Asheville. My friend from school is the number 2 person in charge up there and I was able to get him to hook me up with a huge favor(which he had to get special permission for). Anyway, we arrived at the Biltmore Gate and parked the car. I had it set up to where as soon as we arrived a carriage pulled up. (The timing was crazy. I had to go in the mens restroom at Biltmore McDonalds to let them know we were near the gate without Melissa hearing me. Men using the restroom seemed to stare a lot as I'm asking the dude if the carriage is ready.)

Anyway, the timing was perfect and we made our way onto the carriage for the 20 minute ride up to the Main House. It was awesome, people were stopping and watching as we pulled up the the front of the house. Jay greeted us at the front and escorted us into the restricted area of the Bachelor's wing near the South Tower. It was the personal lounge of George Vanderbilt before his marriage and in fact was the actual room in which he proposed to his wife. Once in the room, there was a food layout that you would not believe. Melissa and I sat alone in George Vanderbilt's personal lounge and ate at the same table he ate at. Next to where we sat was a chair that was owned by Louis 16th. It was incredible. Melissa was speechless. We dined for about an hour and then we were off to our carriage for a ride over to Lion Crest where the horses are kept. We spent the afternoon on private horseback tour of the grounds. The day ended with a carriage ride back to our car and we rode back into reality. And speaking of reality, none of this story was reality. I did take Melissa to the Biltmore House for our anniversary though. It sounded romantic though and it's the thought that counts anyway.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

15 Years

Wow! Tomorrow will be 15 years since Melissa and I were married. July 24th 1993. I remember talking to a guy I went to college with who had went back to school later in life, and I remember him telling me that he had been married 15 years. I thought, dang he sure is old. That was back when Melissa and I had been married a couple of months. Now I think 15 years is not that long and I don't feel that old. But crap, that guy I went to school with has been married 30 years now and that is really old. I take solace in knowing Melissa and I are newly weds compared to old people. If you're old, I meant no offense by the old people comment. I'm sorry that you are youthfully challenged.

Anyway, Happy Anniversary. I am still amazed that you landed a catch like me. Just kidding, I know I went way over my head.

P.S. If I think about it I may post our wedding video that has me singing two songs to Melissa in our wedding.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


This week has been fairly busy with not much time to blog. I worked on a lot of logistical type stuff yesterday and today. I am a creator and idea type person and don't necessarily enjoy the logistical stuff but there are times where that is what I have to do. It's what I do. Shoot! T peezy will get that or T Pizzy as Evan texted him.

Most of the logistical stuff is getting ready for the move to the new auditorium and moving the Children's area to the old auditoirum area and moving the offices to the old Children's area. So a ton of switching around that will be happening in the next week.

Hopefully, we will be getting the ok from the landlord to begin our transition tomorrow. For those who are going to be helping out with painting, sound set up, and moving stuff, I will have a schedule with times that we will doing work. There is only one small type construction project to be done and that involves taking out about 10 feet of wall. Hopefully it won't be too bad. Other than that there are a hundred small things to be taken care of. Also, we are continuing to look for a more permanent location besides the school in Anderson. Pray that doors will open and we will know the place that we are supposed to be.

Also, just a quick invite to all the readers in blog land. Maybe you've been thinking about visiting StoneBridge. What are you waiting for? We'd love to have you stop by and join us. 9:15 a.m. in Anderson at Whitehall Elementary and 10:55 a.m. in Powdersville behind SunTrust. We finish up our "Man on the Run" series this Sunday and begin our new series "Thirst" next week.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Recap

- Today was good all around.

- Two of our three worship leaders were off today but the rest of the band members stepped up and we didn't miss a beat. We are starting to develop depth within our Worship area and it is awesome to see all the different people who are playing parts.

- Keels made his debut leading today in Powdersville and did an awesome job.

- Shout out to Dan C for all he does in Anderson. Dan holds it all together and I appreciate all he does.

- Several new faces at both campuses today which was awesome to see.

- Summer can be filled with highs and lows in all areas of the church. Depending on how vacations fall and who's there and who's gone it can vary from week to week. This being our first summer it has been hard to predict but the cool thing is except for one week, we pretty much have remained constant.

- I usually don't talk about money on my blog but today really blew me away. People have asked from time to time what it takes to run a church. For us, our budget is pretty simple considering all that we do. Our monthly budget requirements are around $12,000. That includes rent at two locations, utilities, insurance, office stuff, youth, children, music(never enough music stuff-Just kidding these guys do great with what they have) and salaries. For most churches this doesn't sound like much because most of the churches I have worked at have had $10,000- $20,000 as a weekly budget. Anyway, back to my point. It takes money to reach people. I really believe our people understand this. During the summer it can be tough on churches. The average per person giving across the nation is right around $15 per person. Today our folks really blew me away, our per person giving today was over $50 per person. It was a reminder to me that our folks really get what is happening and really want to see us reach people for Christ. Currently we still have a few thousand dollars to go to retire our debt which will allow us to move forward with more things designed to reach the community for Christ. Thanks for all you folks do and how you hold everything with an open hand allowing God to use you.

- Be sure to check out the church website for upcoming events and opportunities to get involved.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lost Phone, Day Off, New Watch, New Shirts ,and New Folks

- Lost my phone today in Garden Ridge. Someone picked it up aand turned it in to their office which was nice since I didn't realize it until 3 hours later. We called it and found out where it's new location was and picked it up. Strangers being nice. Really cool.

- I was off today. Hung out with Melissa and Isaac in downtown Greenville just walking around.

- I went in Buckle today and got inspired. They had a watch I wanted but it was $115. No big problem, I went home and made my own that looks better than the one they had for sale. Seeing that one inspired me to make a new white band with blue face watch and the cost was I used an old watch face, white paint, and an old snake skin belt. That's better than $115.

- I got money for my birthday last week so I bought myself three new shirts at the mall. I hate the mall and only usually make about three pilgrimages a year to it.

- I bought some new folks with the extra money I had left over from my birthday. Just kidding. But I am jacked up about some new folks that are going to be helping out from North Greenville University in the next three weeks or so. This is going to take our youth, media and other areas to the next level. These folks are also going to be heading up the core group for the TR location as we move into the fall.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tons in the Works

This has been a pretty encouraging week with several things in the works. I've had 5-6 excellent meetings with several different people.

In the next month, we are going to some exciting things taking place. I don't won't to let out all the details but we are going to be taking our ministries to the next level. I am praying through several things and would appreciate your prayers when you think about it, pray for wisdom.

Today I had some great conversations with a pastor from Greer, another from Spartanburg which really challenged my thinking.(Save the comments on my thinking or lack of it sometimes).

In general it has been a great week. Looking forward to seeing Keels and the guys leading worship in Powdersville this week for the first time. They will be making their debut in Anderson next week.

Site to check out

This is pretty cool. Check out this post. Turner is quite a bit better writer than her dad and she puts her youth minister B Holda to shame as well.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Do I Miss Youth Ministry?

I was a student minister for 14 years and from time to time I have had people ask if I miss youth ministry. There are many things I dont miss like Lock-Ins(These were invented by Satan himself), overbearing parents, parents who believe their youth can do no wrong, deacons who had never been to a youth service believing they knew how to do your job, committees(basically a group fo people who didn't show up on the night they handed out jobs for the church year and they were assigned to the youth committee), church vans that always seemed to break down 200 miles from the church, and the list could go on and on.

But there are some things that I miss and tonight was one of those moments. I had a meeting up at North Greenville University tonight and I had the privelege of sitting in on a Mission Fuge Worship service with over 900 Middle and High Schoolers who have given up a week of their time to go make a difference in the lives of others. There aren't there simply to relax and chill out at a camp but rather they are there to be servants. They have been out in the community working on houses, doing community projects and more. To be in there and here 900 students singing Mighty to Save was electric.

My meeting went well tonight with a young man who is a Staff Member with Fuge and hopefully will be getting plugged into Stone Bridge in the Fall. I've had several exciting conversations with a dozen or so people in the last couple of days and I can't wait to see what it is that God is about to do.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Something Truly Amazing

I'm watching the Home Run Derby. I don't watch baseball much but was drawn to the story of Josh Hamilton. He was kicked out of baseball for 3 years for drugs. He lost his family, his job and pretty much hope. A couple of years ago he came to know Christ and his life has turned 180 degrees. Right before he got up to bat he shared how God had turned his life completely around. His relationship with his wife is restored and he is once again back in baseball. Then he proceeds to get up and knock the snot out of the ball time and again(28 times in the first round next closest competitor 8). Then they tell the story about the 71 year old batting coach who has poured his life into countless kids over the years and never asked for anything in return.

I'm about to cry. Ok I am crying, Hamilton just walked off the field and was interviewed and he proceeds to tell the story of what God has done in his life once more. Wow! Powerful stuff.

It Works

Many of you have read that I tried my hand at fire breathing via an fireball from a video projector. Anyway, yesterday after church, we decided to plug the projector in to see if it still works. Despite having burn marks from a dust fire or propellent fire (whatever it was that exploded) and being thrown to the ground after it blew up in my face, amazingly it still works. We plugged it in and waited to see what would happen and it worked. Picture came up perfectly on a 2500 lumens projector. It did suffer some type of damage though because one of the fans is making a whining noise. I believe it is the fan that is on the part that exploded which makes sense.

Yesterday my throat was hurting like strep throat but today it is feeling somewhat better. I haven't noticed a difference in my muscle tone despite being on Steroids for two days now. Of course I probably would need to do some type of excercise to see muscle tone. Oh well I guess these roids will go to waste. My lungs feel better only some mucas stuff I've been coughing up from time to time.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'm Alive, The Church Hasn't Burned Down and Everything will be Normal Tommorrow

First off, I am back home sitting in my recliner after a minor accident at the church this morning. I'm sure the rumor mill has already started so here is the scoop:

This morning I went up the church at about 7:45 a.m. to go over my message and then I was going to go to Kid's World with our Anderson Campus. I walked in my office and decided to clean the dust out of a used projector we were going to use for the kid's area in a few weeks. I had bought a can of that air spray that you spray into electronics to clean dust out. Not thinking anything about it being plugged in, I was holding the projector and looking into the projector. It was about 4 or 5 inches from my face. I shot a burst of air and it knocked some dust out of the back. I shot a second burst of air and "it happened".

Apparently the dust hit a spark and it ignited in my face. It startled me and I gasped. When I gasped, I inhaled the flame. I jumped up from the ground and ran to the bathroom. I took two big breathes but nothing. I was gasping and could not get any oxygen. I splashed water into my face and mouth not knowing if I was on fire. I took a third breathe and nothing. I looked down at my pocket for my phone and realized it was not there. I ran for the door knowing I needed to get help. I took three or four more breaths trying to breathe but I still couldn't get any oxgen. I ran out the door and began getting lightheaded from no oxygen. I saw some people having a yard sale and headed toward them. As I was about halfway there I got my first little bit of breathe in about a minute or so. I sat down in the parking lot and they called 911. Someone ran over to check to see if there was still a fire and it was out only a strong burning smell.

EMS arrived within two - three minutes and off to GMH we went. They put me on oxygen for about an hour, poked me with needles in all types of places, xrayed me, gave me steroids, let friends and family come in and make fun of me and my bare chestedness, and ripped alot of my arm, hand and chest hair off with all of the things they stuck on me.

Xrays showed no glass in my lungs. One of the people who went to check the building had told the EMS guy that he thought the bulb had exploded and they wanted to be sure I hadn't inhaled glass. In fact, we went by on the way home and looked and the bulb hadn't exploded but rather the dust had ignited.

The Doctor said it had burnt all of my nose hairs so I am good there for a month or so. She said I had scorched the upper bronchiole passages in my lungs and I had scorched the trachial lining in my throat. They gave me some steroids to help it recover and released me to go home. Right now it feels like a bad case of bronchitis mixed with strep throat.

I guess my tryout to be one of the two witnesses that breathed fire in Revelation 11 didn't go so well and maybe next time I will take a page from Bill Clinton and not inhale.

See you at church tomorrow and I find it only appropriate that we're singing Fire Fall Down tomorrow.

P.S. If someone knows of where I can get a good used projector for cheap let me know. I have one I can trade in but I'd be afraid to plug it in.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I think I've decided that I'm not a big fan of sequels. I watched National Treasure 2 a couple of nights ago. I liked National Treasure 1. National Treasure 2 was pretty much the same movie. They tried to capitalize on past success and it may have made for a profitable movie, but it made for a horrible plot. Seriously, Ed Harris as a bad guy trying to kill them just so he gets credit for an archealogical discovery. Come on, are you kidding me? They should have stuck with the Euro esque bad guy that we see in movies like Die Hard, Clear and Present Danger, etc etc. . America loves the Euro bad guy. Sequels never seem to live up to the hype. But somewhere the producer saw the original as successful so rather than trying to come up with a new story line, they just copy past successes.

The church does the same thing. Years ago someone went to a conference and decided that the way so and so church was doing church was working so maybe they should do a sequel. Rather than relying on the vision God had given them to place new wine in new wineskins, they simply replicated someone elses vision. The result became what we know as the traditional church of today.

The crazy thing is that as many folks are fleeing the traditional church scene to start new churches, the same thing is happening all over again. Guys will go to a conference and see such and such church reaching 2000 people in their first two years and instead of relying on the vision that God has given them for the people in the area God has called them to, they will go back and launch Sequel Church. Then pops up Sequel Church 3, Sequel Church 4-Church of Secrets, and before you know it the same thing has happened all over again.

The question I have is this, what is the Vision God has given you? Not what is the vision God has given Mega Church Conference leader guy but what has God called you to do? Go be original. Otherwise, in twenty years another group will flee the then traditional Faux Hawk Pastor, Multi Site Video Fed, Frappamochachino, Church of Today.

This post is not meant to be offensive to faux hawk wearing preachers. After all, the faux hawk is the new comb over. Also, I believe some churches can do video successfully, but don't do it just because you saw someone else do it and thought it'd be cool. As far as the Frappamochachino comment, I meant that with all the disrepect in the world. It's not Coke.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Who's Sharpening You?

As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. I've read this verse many times and I've understood it but sometimes I not the best at putting it into practice. That leads me to the question, who are you relying on to sharpen you? I've been really focusing on as of late on being sharpened by others. You can't go at it alone and expect to make it in the world.

Speaking of sharpening, today I had lunch with this guy. I walked away from lunch more challenged and encouraged than I have been in quite some time. The folks over at Summit Church in Greenville have a great vision of what God has called them too. As a matter of fact if I wasn't the Pastor at StoneBridge and I lived near the Woodruff Road area, then Summit would be the group of believers in Greenville that I would unite up with. They have an awesome vision for multiplying to reach their circles of accountability.

Today was fairly busy. This morning Melissa and I got checked out by a nurse. We are changing insurance stuff and they always send someone to see if you're healthy. We are. My blood pressure was 90 over 60 with a pulse of 60. I am going to start excercising on my bike again soon. I've been watching the Tour de France and I am getting motivated to ride again.

I worked on message stuff until about 6:30 p.m. and finalized our series for December. I'll give you a hint, it's going to have a space flavor to it. This week we continue in "Man on the Run" as we'll look at running from God.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Man on the Run

Kicked off our new series "Man on the Run" today.

Evan and the guys threw in an extra song before the message today and it was awesome.

Mark, Will, and Anna did an acoustic set in Anderson and the energy there was very cool.

I kind of got the best of both worlds because I got to see our worship set two different ways and both were great.

Kids area was our highest attendance since before school got out.

I think most of our core folks are gettting back in town from vacation because attendance has started coming back up plus a good number of first timers in the last couple of weeks has been awesome.

I felt a freedom in speaking openly and honestly with our folks today. It's hard to describe but it's an amazingly peaceful feeling while you're speaking. I've been praying for that.

Three more weeks in our current auditorium and then we move to the front of the building with a larger auditorium and the old audtiorium becomes youth and kid's space.

Over the next two months we are really investing in kids and youth at both campuses. This Saturday is Kid's World in Anderson and should be a blast.

This afternoon a couple of friends came over and we raced go karts. We had four running at one time until Jason had to get out of his because it caught on fire. Not like a big consuming him in flame fire but the clutch caught on fire because it was worn out. At first I didn't tell Jason it was on fire because I figured if he kept going it would put itself out but the bolts on the seat got hot from the fire and he wanted to get out. I let him. What a true friend I am.

Tripp struggled at first with the swingset turn but by the end of the day he had mastered it. Chuck was able to accomplish something that no one prior today had accomplished. I got up to his bumper for about 10 consecutive laps and couldn't spin him out. Finally on the last lap I was able to turn him enough sideways to get on the outside and he turned me going through the top turn but I kept the throttle down and went on to win the Green White Checkered. He did drive the best of any rookie that has made their way onto the track.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th

I'm just chillin in my recliner. We slept in this morning. Isaac and I didn't get home from the race at Greenville Pickens Speedway until about 11:30 p.m. and got in bed a little after midnight. Last night may have been the best race I've watched all year. Nascar has gotten to where the races can seem boring. Last night at GPS was so not boring. Cars crashing everywhere in the last ten laps. Awesome.

They had what was billed as South Carolina's largest fireworks show following the race. I believe it was more like two guys that had made a trip to the closest fireworks stand and ponied up $500. The fireworks weren't even clearing the treetops. I was waiting for the 1000 pack of firecrackers and people walking around with sparklers. I think the word largest was applied pretty liberally. It is like every restaurant that says "largest burgers in the South" or "voted best pizza in the Southeast". Voted? By who?
I never saw that on my ballot. Senator District 2 ___________ House Representative____________ Mayor______________ Best Pizza in the Southeast________________. Oh yeah, it was on there. It got squeezed between the school referendum and the vote on an additional 1 percent sales tax.

Today, cutting grass, probably blowing stuff up.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ready for Bed

I'm pretty much wiped out right now. This week has been crazy. The last two nights have been late up at the church. Last night working on video stuf and tonight was youth. Tonight was the first time I have spoken to our youth since the opening night back in December. The band did great.

My favorite part was the game in the middle of my message. I had some contestants(suckers) come up and play a game that involved eating cream filled donuts. Only one thing that was different. I took a straw in advance and sucked all of the cream out of the donut and replaced the cream with Tartar sauce. The people eating the donuts thought they were eating cream. They weren't it was the tartar sauce. They gagged and we all laughed. The bad thing is that Jacob had fell for a similar game back when I led youth once before. That time I emptied a vanilla ice cream box and replaced the vanilla ice cream with frozen mayonaise. They gagged then too.

My cell phone broke a few weeks ago and I'm using a relic right now(Seriously, the company it came from doesn't exist anymore but it works.). Next week though I reenter the 21st Century. The new I Phone comes out and wouldn't you know that Apple timed it to coincide with my birthday. I think that may be the only way I'm getting one.

Sunday starts our new series "Man on the Run". Be sure to be there and bring your friends.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Starbucks Closing Stores

I must admit that right now I am in a tremendous panic. I just read that Starbucks is closing 600 stores across the U.S. . I'm kind of worried that I will not be able to find a place to find to spend $5 on a cup of coffee. Just kidding, I never got into the whole coffee thing. Don't get me wrong I'm not making fun of coffee drinkers because I have my addictions as well. Like if the frozen lemonade makers decided to stop selling in our area then I would definateley be up in arms. Not so with coffee because it's just not my thing.

The best coffee out there was not from Starbucks anyway. The best was Maxwell House that I would drink from a saucer at my grandma's house. There was always a pot on the stove. I don't believe she ever completely emptied the pot but rather just kept adding more coffee and water. Kind of like someone who has one of those yeast recipes that they keep in their refrigerator and just keep adding to.

One deep thought for the day....... Saturday I got ready to head up to the church. I gave Isaac a hug and told him I was off to practice my message. Then a thought hit me. I practice my message everyday by the way I live. And guess what? He's watching to see if what I say and what I do match up.